Inquest Reports From Newspapers -
Re Nottinghamshire Fatal Accidents
Nottinghamshire Guardian - Friday 03 March 1869
On Wednesday last, about five o’clock as a collier, named William Walters, about twenty one years of age, was at work in the Bulwell New pits, some of the workmen at the top by some means let a chain fall, which, descending the pit at a fearful rate, struck Walters, who was at the bottom on the head and mangled him frightfully. Death was almost instantaneous. Another man who was standing near was also struck with the chain, and had his leg crushed very severely.
Nottinghamshire Guardian - Friday 24 November 1876
On Monday last a fatal accident occurred in the Bulwell Colliery to a collier named Charles Martin. It seems that on that morning he was engaged in one of the stalls, when a large quantity of bind fell on the top of him. Mr Coroner Heath opened an inquest on Wednesday, at the Coopers Arms Inn, Bulwell, on the body, and then adjourned until Thursday, the 30th
Nottinghamshire Guardian Friday 30 April 1880
The adjourned inquest on the body of John Greensmith, who was killed at work at Bulwell Pit on the 21st instant, was resumed on Wednesday afternoon at the Coopers Arms Inn, Bulwell, before the Deputy Borough Coroner, Mr. A. Browne. Before taking evidence the Coroner read a communication which had been received from Mr. Evans, one of the Inspectors of Mines, stating that he had inspected the place where the accident occurred on the 26th instant, and found that deceased had been killed by a fall of roof. The supports were well made, and a sufficient supply of timber was at hand. The roof was very tender and the probability was that a “weight” came down suddenly and the roof gave way before deceased had time to get out of the way. There was no fault to find with the timbering and packing, and in his opinion death was the result of an accident. Under the circumstances he did not think it would be necessary for an Inspector of Mines to be present. Messrs, Fowler and Atkinson represented the colliery Company. Mathew Morgan, Collier, living at Bulwell, said he was working near the deceased in Bulwell Colliery on the 21st instant. He heard a noise as if something had fallen near to where deceased was, and directly afterwards a man called to him to bring some shovels as a man was under some stuff. He went immediately, and found that a portion of the roof had given way. After liberating Martin, who was seriously injured, he extricated deceased, but found he was dead, his neck having been broken. Witness considered the roof was properly and sufficiently supported, and was of opinion that the fall was caused by the bursting of the gas in the roof. Aaron Parker, living at Bulwell, said he was employed at the Bulwell Colliery. He had charge of that part of the pit where deceased was working on the day when the accident happened, and had to look after the timber, of which there was a plentiful supply. He saw deceased about five minutes before the fall occurred and he was then wedging a piece of coal from the face of the roof for the purpose of putting up another support. The roof appeared to be good but required much care. He thought deceased was doing all that was necessary to support the roof. Frederick Lilley deposed that he worked in the Bulwell pit, and on hearing the fall he went for assistance, and helped extricate Martin. There was plenty of timber to support the roof with. Henry Harwood, underviewer at the pit having answered several questions with reference to the roof, the jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.
Nottinghamshire Guardian - Friday 29 October 1886
Mr. A. Browne, the Deputy Borough Coroner, held an inquiry on Wednesday at the Nottingham General Hospital, into the death of Aaron Sisson. Mr. Stokes, assistant Inspector of Mines, and Mr. Towler, agent to the Babbington Colliery Company, were present at the inquiry. The Coroner in addressing the jury, said the case they had before them that day was one in which the deceased was engaged in excavating coal. Over the seam of coal ran a strata of clod which was a material easily broken. It was necessary to get down this material as the coal was excavated, and while the deceased was trying to bring it down by means of his pick, the whole, suddenly fell and partially buried him. Their duty was to ascertain the cause of the death, and also to inquire whether any one was to blame in the matter. Jarvis Sisson, of Bulwell, a collier, said deceased was his father he was thirty nine years of age, and a collier. After he was injured witness saw him at the hospital, when his father said that some coal and earth fell upon him. There was no blame attached to anyone. Samuel Smith, collier, of Bulwell, said he was working with the deceased when the latter was hurt. He was working about ten yards away from him when the deceased was getting ready to pull the clod. The piece of coal had slid away leaving the clod sticking to the roof. Just before the clod fell he saw deceased standing in front of it. He then appeared to be listening to the clod and directly afterwards it fell. The clod struck deceased and he fell. Witness went up to him and found him sitting on the rubbish. Deceased said that he thought the clod had cut his foot off. Witness, with help got the rubbish off, and he saw that deceased’s foot was broken. There was about two hundredweight of the clod on the deceased. Only a portion of the clod fell upon the deceased, and under that portion which did not fall were three props. There were no props under that part which fell. There was plenty of timber to hand. The rule was that the clod should be propped every four feet six inches. When witness helped to carry the deceased away he did not hear the latter blame anyone. By Mr. Stokes: The coal had been taken away from under the clod about ten minutes previous to its fall; Witness could not say whether the clod had been supported when the coal was being cleared away or not. The rule was that the supports should be put up while they took away the coal, and when the clod was to be taken away the support was removed. Witness saw the deceased stand up with his pick over his shoulder. He did not strike or pull at the clod. Each man was provided with a crowbar so that in forcing down the clod he might be able to stand out of danger of the falling waste. Deceased was the stallman. The distance from the back to the face coal was four feet. The accident took place a week ago last Thursday. Mr. A. R. Anderson said the deceased was admitted into the hospital on the 14th and remained there until the 24th when he died. His death was caused by the injuries he had received. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.
Nottingham Daily Express - Monday 23 March 1888
An inquest was held on Saturday at the Black Horse Inn, Bulwell, before Mr. Arthur Browne, Deputy Borough Coroner, touching the death of Enoch Aram, aged fifty six, employed in Bulwell Pit, with the Babbington Colliery Company. Mr Henry Haywood, undermanager of the pit was present on behalf of the Company. The coroner said that the duty of the jury would be to ascertain whether deceased died owing to the negligence of any one or not. They would also have to ascertain whether he had been properly provided with timber or otherwise. James Aram, of 57, Clarges Street, Bulwell, miner, said deceased was his father. Witness worked with him, and was with him on Tuesday last. They were below in the pit and were taking an arch out of a passage to make the roof higher, when a stone fell upon the deceased, knocking him against the side of the road. About half a ton fell. Witness got assistance, and got his father out. Deceased complained of his back being hurt. He could not walk, but was sensible. They had considered the stone that fell was safe, but it came down suddenly. They could find no crack in it, and were preparing to wedge it when the accident happened. There was plenty of timber if it was required. Deceased was taken to his house in Coventry Road, where he died on Thursday night. Deceased said no one was to blame for the accident. George Pearson, miner of Quarry Road,
said he was at work in a stall close to deceased when the accident occurred, and was one of the first to get to him. They found him under the stone which they raised and got him out. He complained of being hurt. They put him on a tram and took him to the shaft and he was taken home. Witness accompanied him home. Deceased said no one was to blame for the accident. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”
Nottingham Daily Guardian - Thursday 20 December 1888
Yesterday at the Bull and Butcher Inn, by adjournment an inquest was held by Mr. Arthur Browne, the Deputy Borough Coroner, on the body of Charles Walker, aged forty five, who was injured in the Bulwell Colliery, belonging to the Babbington Colliery Company, on the 17th instant, and died the same night. Mr. Stokes, Inspector of Mines was present, as also were Mr. Fowler and Mr. Haywood managers for the Company. Louisa Walker, of 47, Bradford Street Bulwell, said that the deceased was her husband. He was a collier by trade and worked at the Bulwell pit. He was in good health up to going to work on Monday morning last. Witness was at home when deceased was brought home about 11-45 a.m. that day. He was unable to speak and did not rally at all to the time of his death, which occurred on Monday night. Deceased had been accustomed to the work in a pit for many years. Samuel Bestwick, 80, Quarry Road, Bulwell, miner, deposed to working next to deceased when he was injured, and he saw it happen. Deceased was pulling the coals down, and slipped over two lumps of “cannel” in stepping back out of the way of the coal which he had pulled down. When he felt himself going deceased held his pick out to hold the coal back off him, and the coal struck the pick and jammed the handle into his side. Deceased was perfectly sober and had worked in the same pit for five years. A man named Joseph Breedon was next to deceased at the time. Between two and three hundredweight of coal fell. By Mr. Stokes: No coal or roof fell upon deceased, and nothing struck him but the pick shaft. The two pieces of cannel were behind him. Joseph Breedon, of 105, Main Street, Bulwell, miner, gave corroborating evidence, and said deceased did not blame anyone at all. The Coroner remarked that it seemed a very simple case, and the man did not appear to have blamed anyone for the accident. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned”.
Nottinghamshire Guardian - Saturday 22 October 1892
Mr. Charles L. Rothera, Borough Coroner, conducted an inquiry at the Bull and Butcher, Bulwell, into the circumstances attending the death of William Harrison, of 24, Freehold Street, Bulwell, who was killed at the Bulwell pit on Saturday. Mr. Fowler, and Mr. Howard, represented the colliery proprietors, and Mr. Hepplewhite, Assistant Inspector of Mines was also present. Mr. J. H. A. Green and Mr Bailey miner’s agent appeared on behalf of the Miners Association. Ada Harrison, wife of the deceased, said her husband, who was twenty six years of age, went to work as usual on Saturday morning, but she heard nothing whatsoever about him after that time. Thomas Burrows, residing in Maud Street, New Basford, drift runner at the Bulwell Colliery, said he was at work on Saturday morning, when the deceased came up and told him No 5 stall was ready for some wagons. Witness had charge of the wagons, and had to superintend the running of them. Deceased got on the drift, which consisted of sixteen wagons, and rode down the line instead of walking. He had no business on the drift whatever. They had gone about fifty yards when witness first noticed the deceased was riding. Witness jumped off the wagon and told deceased to do the same, or else he would get hurt. He did not do so, and when the drift arrived at the sixes witness caught hold of his sleeve and attempted to pull him off the wagon. Deceased did not speak when he told him to get off, and sat straight up when witness placed his lantern close to deceased’s face. He had no power to stop the trucks after they were unhooked from the horse, except by throwing them off the rails. The roof became much lower as they neared the face of the coal, and if the deceased had sat upright after he passed witness he might have caught his head against one of the props. Deceased blew his lamp out so he could not see him. When the wagons came to a standstill witness called and asked one of the men if the deceased was alright, and he replied that he was under the wagons. Witness immediately ran to his assistance, and found the deceased lying between the trucks, bleeding very badly from the head. In answer to a juryman, witness said he was certain he did not pull the deceased off the truck when he caught hold of his sleeve. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.
Nottingham Daily Guardian - Tuesday 20 December 1892
Yesterday at the Nottingham General Hospital Mr. C. L. Rothera Borough Coroner, held an inquest on the body of James Aram, thirty three, a miner, of 19, Turton Street, Bulwell, who died in the institution on the 19th inst. Mr. A. H. Stokes, Inspector of Mines, and Mr. William Bailey, Nott’s Miners agent were present. Mr. J. A. H. Green appeared on behalf of the Nott’s Miners Association. Ann Aram, of 19, Turton Street, Bulwell, wife of the deceased, said that he had been an onsetter at Bulwell Colliery, and he had worked there for eighteen years. On Thursday last he went to work in sound health, but about two o’ clock in the afternoon he was brought home unconscious, having been injured. He was at once brought to the Nottingham General Hospital. John Simscoe, of 2, Vernon Road, Basford, miner, employed at the Bulwell pit, said that the pit had a single shaft, up which two cages worked. His duty was at the bottom of the pit on the emptying side of the cage. On Thursday afternoon last they were at work, when witness took an empty tub away. Deceased called “out alright” and witness gave the signal to hoist. After the cage had come down witness could see nothing of the deceased, but on shifting the empty tub he was found behind it. The empty tub was quite pushed off by the deceased pushing the full one on. Deceased had apparently crossed the pit bottom. There was a rule forbidding this, as pieces of coal occasionally glanced from the ascending tubs. After deceased had been removed and the scaffold was cleaned out a piece of coal was found by Mr. Stokes: At the time of the accident, witness was away from his station for about a minute helping a boy to run some tubs out. The coroner produced the piece of coal which found on the scaffolding, A piece of hair, which appeared to have come from the deceased’s head, was sticking to it. Mr Ben Gowering, assistant house surgeon, said that when deceased was admitted to the Hospital he was unconscious and suffering from a compound compressed fracture of the skull. He never recovered consciousness, and died on Monday in consequence of his injuries. Witness would have expected a larger piece of coal than the one produced to cause such a terrible injury as the deceased had sustained. Mr J. A. H. Green requested that Thomas Richards, banksman at the colliery be called. Richards stated that he did notice any coal fall on the day in question, The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.
Nottingham Daily Guardian - Monday 06 February 1893
On Saturday Mr. Charles L, Rothera, held an inquest on the body of Frederick Johnson, coal miner, 138, Quarry Road,
Bulwell, at the New Town Inn, Bulwell. Mr. W. H. Hepplewhite, deputy inspector of mines, and Mr. C. H. Williams, and Councillor Bailey were also present. It appeared that on Saturday morning January 28th, deceased was following his usual employment in the Bulwell pit of the Babbington Coal Company. He was a one armed man and was given light employment at night. On the Saturday night deceased was stepping over a haulage rope, when the rope jerked up and threw him over. He felt that he was injured severely, but was able to walk along the passage until he got assistance, when he was taken to the surface and home. Deceased had no work in the passage where the rope was. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.
Nottingham Evening News - Monday 15 November 1897
Joseph Richard Kirk
An inquest was held yesterday afternoon at the New Town Inn, Bulwell, by Mr C L Rothera City Coroner, on the body of Joseph Richard Kirk, aged thirty seven years, a collier, who died on Sunday evening from injuries received at Bulwell pit on Wednesday, October 20th, by some coal falling upon him. Mr Stokes, of Derby, Inspector of Mines, watched the proceedings. Eliza Kirk said she lived at 40, Musters Street, and the deceased was her husband. At 1-15 p.m. on the 29th he was brought home, and he made the remark that a piece of coal had fallen upon his head, but the piece was not very large. A Doctor had attended him twice the same day. The deceased gradually got worse, and had pains in the head. On the following Monday the doctor ordered him to take to his bed, and he never recovered and died the previous evening.
Levi Smith, said he lived at 32, Forest Road, Bulwell. He was a collier, and worked along with the deceased at Bulwell pit. He was engaged as a contractor, working at No 6 stall, and on the 20th ult, the deceased was working as a wagoner. His attention was called by another collier to the accident, and he found that some clod had fallen upon the deceased. He went to his assistance, but deceased wanted to stop at work, and said he was alright. Soon afterwards another contractor took the deceased home. Witness had visited the stall five minutes before the accident, and everything was alright In reply to Mr Stokes, witness said the coal was not hanging over, the weight of the coal would be about 8lb. Joseph Thorpe, said he lived in Trinity Street, Bulwell, and was working with the deceased on October the 20th. There was a slip of the clod which was about eight inches thick; it was very seldom that there was a slip of that kind. The deceased did not appear much hurt much at the time and was quite conscious. When witness picked him up he said he had got a rap on the head, but it was not very much. Dr Nelson said he had attended the deceased since the 20th ult. and his injuries were a scalp wound. Two days afterwards the deceased developed brain symptoms, but the wound healed in five days. Witness had attended him previous to the accident when he was suffering from his ear, which had a tendency to bleed. About two years ago he had a tumour taken away from it, but the blow from the coal was the primary cause of death. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.
Nottinghamshire Guardian - Saturday 16 April 1898
At the Nottingham General Hospital on Tuesday Mr. F. W. Rothera, the Deputy City Coroner, conducted an adjourned inquiry into the circumstances connected with death of a youth named Thomas Bourne, a miner, lately residing at 18, Queen Street, Basford, which occurred in the institution on Thursday night from injuries received on the 31st of March, by being run over by an empty wagon which had become detached at the Bulwell Colliery. Mr. A. H. Stokes, Inspector of Mines for the district was present, and Mr. W. Hunt, assistant manager of the Babbington Colliery Company, watched the proceedings on their behalf. The jury after a short deliberation returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.
Nottinghamshire Guardian - Saturday 05 November 1898
James Edward Beardmore
At the Nottingham General Hospital on Monday Mr. C.J. Rothera held an exhaustive inquiry into the circumstances associated with the death of James Edward Beardmore, fifteen, of 69, Chatham Street, Highbury Vale, Bulwell, which occurred on Thursday evening, following injuries sustained in Bulwell Babbington Colliery on the preceding afternoon. Mr. W. H. Hepplewhite, H.M. Inspector of Mines, watched the proceedings, and several representatives from the particular colliery were also present. Thomas Burrows, 319, Quarry Road, said on Thursday last he was in charge of a drift at Bulwell pit comprising tubs. He knew the deceased whose duties consisted of door trapping and attending to the points. On the drift were two tubs containing sand, which witness had previously intimated to Beardmore would have to be taken off at a certain junction. On reaching the first door witness jumped down and gave the signal to stop in order to exchange the two sand tubs for empties. It did not stop immediately, but continued running for nearly eighty yards. Witness gave another signal; the drift was drawn back again. Deceased was not in the place where witness expected him to see him, and witness directly concluded that that he had gone to communicate the fact that the sand tubs had come down to the man at the fire. By Mr Hepplewhite: On no previous occasion had deceased assisted him in detaching sand tubs. The drift on this particular occasion was running a little faster than usual the two loaded tubs at the front giving it an impetus. James Williams, also a pit boy at Bulwell Colliery, said that on Thursday the deceased was working near to him when the drift was coming down the main road. Beardmore stood at No 8 junction. Witness remarked on the approach of the drift, and deceased replied “All right”. It passed about fifteen yards through the door at which witness was stationed, and Burrows was sitting on the edge of the last tub. Witness thought the drift would about reach the spot where the deceased was afterwards found. He could not have walked to that point in the time. On Thursday deceased endeavoured to give the signal for the drift to stop, and stood just outside the line for this purpose, in a position which he considered rendered him free from any danger of being knocked by the tub. In answer to Mr. Hepplewhite, witness said had had never known deceased jump onto the tub for a ride as they were passing. Mr. John Prestwich, assistant house surgeon at the General Hospital, said deceased was received into the institution at about 2-30 p.m. on Thursday suffering from severe shock and concussion of the brain, There was a bruise on the right side and abrasions on the face, but no bones were broken. He never recovered consciousness, and died the same night. After a brief consultation the jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”, and attached blame to Burrows who was admonished by the Coroner.
Nottingham Guardian - Wednesday 03 July 1907
An inquest was held by the Borough Coroner, at the Bulwell Methodist Chapel, last evening, on the body of Alfred Sellars, of 22, Mersey Street, Bulwell, a miner, who died on Sunday last from injuries received in an accident at the Bulwell Colliery some days previously. There were present at the inquiry, Mr. W.H. Hepplewhite, Inspector of Mines, Mr. S. C. Fowler, manager of the colliery Company, Mr. H,S. Walker, under-manager, Mr. L. Spencer, Notts Miners Association, and Mr, C.H. Williams, for the deceased’s relatives. Phoebe Sellars, widow, said that on Friday 21st June last, her husband who was thirty two, years of age, and had been employed at the colliery for twenty ears, came home from his work early, suffering from a deep cut on his head, he said a bar had fallen on it, and after witness had bathed it he went to see a doctor. James Purdy, 29, Thames Street, Bulwell, said that he was working in the same stall as Sellars when the accident happened. He found deceased lying on the ground with a six foot long heavy steel bar on his body. This bar was used to keep up the roof, being placed on top of the supporting props, and it had been in position about three weeks. When the coal trams passed by the supporting props, the distance between them and the vehicle was only a few inches. Witness had noticed that owing to the heavy pressure upon the props supporting the bar which fell, it had been bent, The distance thus being reduced. There were some empty coal trams near, and witness thought that deceased had been pushing them. Witness lifted Sellars and found that his head was bleeding, but he went on with his work the wound being cleaned with water and a rag. Sellars went home after dinner time. Samuel Bloor, deputy at the pit, said he examined Sellars stall on Friday morning about half an hour before the accident, everything appeared perfectly safe, and none of the props appeared defective. Deceased gave witness to understand that he was taking the bar out and that as he was loosening the prop, it sprang out and the bar fell on him. When witness saw him on Wednesday last he said he must have knocked the prop out with his tram. Witness thought that deceased’s second explanation was the correct one. Dr. Round said that he had tendered the deceased since the accident, and found him suffering from a deep scalp wound about three and a half inches long, and down to the bone. Blood poisoning, the direct result of the wound set in, and this resulted in his death on Sunday last. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”. On behalf of the Company, the Coroner expressed sympathy with the relatives.